Tag Archive | "Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti)"

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti) Pair

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti)

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti) are found in central Vietnam in the Thu Bồn River system in Quảng Nam province and the Hương (Perfume) River basin in Thừa Thiên-Huế province.   Like other Paradise Fish species, they inhabit rice paddies, irrigation ditches, small pools, marshes, densely vegetated hill streams, and the backwaters of larger rivers in their range.

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti)

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti)

The Black Paradise Fish has a forked caudal fin and either lacks the dark bars on the body entirely, or has 4 to 12 very faint, inconspicuous dark bars on a pale brown to dark gray background on the body.

The dorsal surface of the head and predorsum does not have the dark spots or saddle like blotches of other species and the rear tip or margin of the scales on the head and body are noticeably darker than the scales themselves.

Unlike the similar looking Macropodus erythropterus which is easily identified by its reddish pigmentation on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins, Macropodus spechti have the distal portion of their anterior soft pelvic fin ray red with black spots and bars on the dorsal and caudal fin membranes, posterior dorsal fin membranes, and the caudal fin membranes being blue.

The filamentous caudal fin rays have a white or black posterior extremity with no red pigmentation in the unpaired fins.  Males are generally larger than females and have extended soft rays in their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.

Macropodus spechti, like other gourami species possess a labyrinth organ that allows the fish to breathe atmospheric air and survive in harsh water quality environments that would kill other species.

Black Paradise Fish are best kept in a densely planted 30 gallon or larger aquarium with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some driftwood arranged to provide shady areas for them to hide among, some floating plants, and a layer of dried Indian Almond Leaves to mimic their natural environment.  The leaf litter develops beneficial microbe colonies as the leaves decompose which become a valuable food source for the fry.

Like most gourami species, Macropodus spechti are bubble nest builders and are relatively easy to spawn.

Spawning can be induced by providing soft water in the breeding tank, lowering the water level to about 6″ and slightly raising the water temperature.

Black Paradise Fish do not need to be separated prior to breeding. The male will build a bubble nest among vegetation at the surface and will usually tolerate the female during this period. When the nest if completed, the male will “court” the female by displaying this elongated dorsal, anal and caudal fins until she show interest in spawning.

Spawning occurs under the bubble nest in the typical embrace with the male wrapped around the female. As the eggs and sperm are simultaneously released into the water column, the male will collect any fertilized eggs that do not float to the surface of the nest and place them there before continuing the mating ritual. Typically, several hindered eggs will be released into the nest before the female is spent and spawning is completed.

Unlike some other species, the female is tolerated by the male after spawning and often helps guard the bubble nest.

When the eggs hatch and the fry have absorbed their egg sacs, they can be fed infusoria for the first few days until they can accept freshly hatched baby brine shrimp or . During this period frequent small water changes should be made and a tight cover should be placed on the rearing tank to ensure that the labyrinth organs in the fry develop properly. Although the parents usually do not eat their offspring, many breeders remove both parents to ensure a high yield.

Black Paradise Fish prey on mosquito larvae, insect larvae and small fish in their natural environment. In an aquarium environment, they will eagerly accept live, frozen, or freeze dried Daphnia, white worms, grindal worms, brine shrimp, tubifex, etc. along with a good quality omnivore flake food.

Black Paradise Fish are not common in the aquarium trade but are occasionally available from importers or breeders online at a modest cost when they are 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ in size.

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti) Pair

Black Paradise Fish (Macropodus spechti) Pair








Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 68-86° F, 5-20 dKH, pH 6.0-8.0
Max Size: 3″
Color Form: Black, Gray
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: OK community tank
Origin: Vietnam
Family: Belontiidae
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate


Posted in Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Gourami, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (4)

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